Hawaii Reunion

I’ve put off blogging about this trip, because once I do,  it’s going to feel like it’s really over.  And I hate that!  There really are no words that will do it justice because the magic was in the little moments that can’t be captured on paper.  Basking on beaches, reliving memories, making new ones, long talks, open hearts, laughs, tears.  It was the best week in the history of all time.  But without further ado, let’s get to it!

Let’s start with our house at Rocky Point.  It was the most perfect place on earth.  Steps from the beach, and we could watch world class surfing from our patio.  We even saw Jack Johnson hitting the waves one morning!  IMG_9122IMG_91232019-10-06 21.02.43Our first night there, we hung out on the beach watching the sunset and gabbing each other’s ears off.  We had a lot of catching up to do!2019-09-21 18.21.15Then game night!  There was a fair amount of arm wrestling on this trip!2019-09-21 17.57.382019-09-22 18.35.34-1The next morning started EARLY.  It’s so hard to sleep in in HI.  Kasey and I went for a beautiful walk along the beach up to Pipeline, and after that a few of us went biking to V-land. Others went to church. Such a beautiful ride.  On our way home we stopped at Sunrise Shack for my first Acai bowl of the trip.  It was the most unique and pretty, but didn’t win for best taste.  I’ll share the winner later 🙂IMG_9113-2

2019-09-22 10.17.23This is what Amanda had to do about every 5 minutes.  Put the bike chain back on.  the first couple times were funny, but by the end of the ride we were ready to throw that bike in the trash! IMG_7599Lunch was garlic shrimp and haupia pie at Ted’s Bakery.  YUM.  We ate A LOT of haupia pie on this trip!IMG_6032Then off to Sunset beach!  It was a bit of a blustery day, but the beach is always fun! 2019-10-06 20.44.26Kasey and ended up with twinner suits!  We were adorable 😉 .  We prepared a yummy dinner of grilled chicken and grilled zucchini, garlic bread and salad for dinner.

And then, the most epic game night ever!!  Rachel planned a really fun game where you write down 3 things about yourself that you think people won’t know.  Then everyone tries to guess.  We learned some very fun, and very random things about each other.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a loooong time.  We stayed up way too late and enjoyed every minute of it.  20190923_020834Sept 23rd, we started with a trip down memory lane at BYU-H.  We all piled into the Suburban and drove to Laie.  First stop Bookstore.  Second stop THE CAF!  Where all our best memories were made and all our best pounds were gained.  I remember Kasey and I furiously doing like 100 crunches every time before going to the beach.  2019-09-23 10.10.342019-09-23 10.15.05-1-12019-09-23 10.25.45-12019-09-23 10.55.37Next up was lunch and Cassie, Amanda and I got Henna tattos at the PCC.  They’ve added a lot of fun stuff!  We didn’t do the whole PCC, just the marketplace.  2019-09-23 11.41.33.jpgThen off to Hukilau Beach for an epic afternoon of body boarding.  We had a blast and the waves were just our size.  2019-09-23 15.18.19-12019-09-23 15.04.14IMG_1732
The fun didn’t stop there.  Next on the agenda was hiking to the Ehukai Pillbox.  We originally were going to do this in the morning, but it was pouring rain, so we opted to wait.  This is a beautiful hike that starts at Sunset Elementary.  We parked our car, hopped out and hit the trail.  The views from the top were stunning!  2019-09-23 21.02.152019-10-06 07.42.24We had fun exploring the small inside of the Pillbox seeing all the grafitti.  PicMonkey Collage2019-09-23 16.55.14-12019-09-23 17.21.20I love how everything is so lush and green!  It was very humid and we were sweating a ton.  IMG_0128We made it to the end of the trail and we were TIRED and ready for some food.  As we walked toward our car, something didn’t look right: 2019-09-23 17.39.22Oops! There was a public parking lot, and a lot just for the school.  Apparently not one of the 8 of us saw the sign.  The car was locked in until the next morning!  Luckily we weren’t very far from home, so we just extended our hike and walked along the beach from Ehukai to Rocky Point.  It was a good chance to get the mud off of our shoes.  2019-09-23 17.41.55-1As if that wasn’t enough fun for one day, after quick showers we end to Haliewa and had Thai for dinner. We hopped into our little Ford, and then borrowed Jessica’s cousin’s car (she lived just down the road near Sunset) and drove to dinner. I decided to treat myself to the Mahi Mahi Special since it was close to my birthday.  BIG MISTAKE.  It was soooo gross.  And everyone else’s was delicious!  Right in the middle of dinner Rachel slammed her water glass down hard.  We were all startled and looked at her.  She said, “Cockroach” and we all resumend our conversation like nothing had happened.  Only in Hawaii would a cockroach at the dinner table elicit such a mild response.

Now the day we’d all been waiting for: A perfect, bright, sunny Waimea day.  Pretty much the whole reason most of us came on this trip.  Waimea was always our favorite beach, and this trip was no different.  It was a beautiful day!  The waves were calm and the beach was powder soft.  Kasey, Mandy and I rode bikes from our house up to Waimea.  I could make that ride everyday for the rest of my life and never get sick of it.  We passed Shark’s cove, and the famous Waimea church.  20190924_094823EFFECTSWe laid out our beach blanket, set up our umbrella and sun shade and settled in for our beach day.  We had packed our lunch with us so nothing could make us leave until we were good and ready.  We even got brave and jumped off the Rock.  I was so nervous, which surprised me, but Cassie was recording me so I made myself jump.  I was last to go and as luck would have it, the battery died!  If there is no video or photographic evidence, did it even really happen?  2019-10-06 07.51.32This might be my favorite picture of the trip:IMG_9164It was pretty difficult to handstand on the very uneven sand!  Thank heaven for burst photos.  2019-09-24 14.27.38-4-12019-09-24 14.25.40-2After we’d had about as much sun as we could handle (And that’s a lot less sun than when we were 19) we went back to Haleiwa for Matsumodo’s for everyone else, and Acai for me.  I love me a good shave ice, but I don’t think Matsumodo’s is good at all!  I know I’m in a minority on that opinion.  2019-09-24 16.08.06But look at this beauty from Haleiwa Bowls!  It was amazing.  Best bowl of the trip for sure.  2019-09-24 15.38.42It’s amazing how much you can get done in one day when you don’t have to herd kids around!  We weren’t ready to go home so off to Ka’ena point for a hike!  We didn’t have time to finish the trail before it got dark, but it was a lovely view.  I love how every side of the Island has a different feel to it.  2019-09-24 17.34.16-12019-09-24 18.19.332019-10-06 07.59.17Sept 25–HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  How awesome that I get to spend my birthday in the best place with the best people.  A few nights earlier Cassie had mentioned that some of her friends had done a cage shark dive and had a blast.  I latched on to that and wanted to see if I could make it happen for us.  It took quite a bit of convincing to get everyone on board, but eventually we made it happen and scheduled a 6:30am trip from Haleiwa Harbor. Unbeknownst to me, Rusty had contacted Jessica and Kasey and said that he wanted to pay for us to do a fun activity on my birthday.  They had been wracking their brains on what to do, and this perfectly fit the bill.  What a nice surprise–Thanks Rusty!  We all had the best time.

2019-09-25 06.27.05It was a beautiful morning!  We were all a little nervous for this adventure.  Kasey, Cassie, and Steph were loaded up with motion sickness medicine.  It worked great for Cassie.  Steph, Kasey and Rach weren’t as lucky.  Kasey puked twice and Rachel and Steph had a rough time on the boat ride back to the harbor.  Luckily once we got back on land everyone felt much better.  2019-09-25 06.31.202019-10-06 08.10.47We had a little safety briefing, got our snorkel gear, and then off we went into the cage.  It was scary to put your head under for the first time, but after that, it was just plain AWESOME.  Not scary at all.  And we saw so many sharks!  They were swimming all around us.  The current was really strong that morning and it kept bashing us around in the cage.  We all smacked our heads at least once.  20190925_0724042019-09-25 07.35.032019-10-06 20.48.4620190925_072846I’m so glad we did this.  It was a highlight of the trip FOR SURE.  We ate breakfast burritos at Kono’s Restaurant.  They were delicious!  2019-09-25 10.32.00

Next up, Birthday nap on the beach.  I can imagine no better way to celebrate than this.  There were still many hours left in the day and we weren’t going to waste any of them.  Off to Kailua we went to Kayak at Kailua Beach.  I’d never been to this part of the the island and it was BEAUTIFUL.  The water was an intense light blue that is so different than North Shore.  It was misty and a little bit cool, which was actually perfect weather to Kayak in.  The only downside to this adventure was that we had to haul the kayaks like 3 blocks from the rental shop to the beach.  And they are heavy!2019-09-25 14.52.23Kasey wasn’t ready for another bout of motion sickness, so she was our sherpa and hung out on the beach.  And then under a pavillion once the rain really got going.  20190925_15012020190925_155816PicMonkey CollageWe booked it home in order to get all prettied up for the last birthday festivity of the evening.  Karaoke at Turtle Bay! This was an absolute blast.  So much fun.  At one point, the bartender came up and sang “New York, New York,” and we all formed a chorus line for the last 1/2 of his song.  When he was done he came down and told us we just made his whole life.  He said, “I looked down and 8 beautiful women were doing a chorus line for MY song.  It was the most amazing moment.”  We also got down with our local friends in Jammin to Bob Marley.2019-09-25 21.07.56We also took a turn on the stage.  We sang Total Eclipse of the Heart, but our best song was “Wannabe” by Spice Girls.  We had the whole crowd on their feet!

As luck would have it, there was another birthday girl there that night as well.  Her name was Tiara!  They had a VIP section set up for her party, and they all left right before midnight.  They left behind an entire beautiful birthday cake.  Jess didn’t want it to go to waste, so she took it from the table and we all enjoyed a slice.IMG_20190926_0017472019-09-26 00.13.55We shut the place down at midnight and then slept like the dead.

Thursday was our last full day together, as some of us were leaving on Fri morning and some on Sat.  There are still a few of our guy friends who live on the island, so we invited them over for breakfast.  It was so great to see Kumu and Jeremy and to catch up on life.  We made coconut pancakes, had tons of fruit, eggs, Pog, and the guys brought pastries.  It was a feast! IMG_0207See that beautiful sun behind us?  It didn’t last long!  By the time we got our suits on and packed for the beach, we could tell rain was on the way.  We held out hope that it wouldn’t last long, but we were disappointed.  After shivering under our umbrella for like 30 min, we decided to call it quits and go grab lunch at Kuhuku farms.  It was super yummy!  Lots of fresh, tasty food.  After all the eating we’d been doing, I wasn’t particularly hungry, so I had a pineapple Haupia smoothie.  So good.  20190926_122112Later in the afternoon the sun peeped its head out, so we went and hung out at the beach just below our house.  We vowed not to leave until the sun went down. 2019-09-26 17.29.11Rachel had a red eye home that night, so it was almost time to say goodbye.  I had made little Hawaii wish bracelets for everyone, and got them a silly blow up drink holder.  We took pictures and then sent Rachel to the airport.  2019-10-06 21.14.562019-09-26 18.10.42-1IMG_9222We were true to our word and didn’t go inside until the sky was black.  2019-09-26 18.22.46-2Then it was time for a trip down memory lane.  Laura made a video of pictures right before most of us left Hawaii for Utah 1/2 way through our Sophomore year.  It was cutting edge back then!  Rusty had digitized it a few years ago, so I loaded it on dropbox, brought my HDMI cord, and we watched our 19 year old selves.  It was a blast.  The best part was that we watched while wearing these very flattering face masks.  Which made it kinda hard to laugh.  But we managed 🙂 2019-10-06 21.07.32Kasey, Cassie, Jess and Steph left early the next morning.  Laura, Amanda and I were the last ones standing.  We went for one last morning bike ride along the path, lingered at the house until checkout time and headed to Waimea for one last beach day.  It so interesting how the waves change from day to do.  Today there was GIANT shorebreak.  So giant the lifeguards didn’t want anyone in the water.  But of course we (and many others)went anyway.  We saw several people get totally pummeled.  The lifeguards kept giving warnings of broken necks, but nobody seemed to care.  Then, the lifeguards announced they had spotted a shark in the bay and everyone needed to exit the water.  You should have seen how fast people got out.  I kinda wonder if they made up the shark just to get people out of the water.

From there we made our way to Honolulu.  We got in the hot tub for a little while, showered, then hit the downtown.  I didn’t take a single picture!  We ate dinner at the International Market.  I give it a “meh.”

The next morning we dropped Laura at the airport and then Mandy and I booked it to Koko Crater in order to have time to hike before her flight.  2019-09-28 18.43.16The hike was AWESOME.  It felt like hiking stairs in a hot yoga class.  I have never sweat so much EVER.  We hiked along the railroad ties.  It starts pretty gradually, but by the end we were going straight up.  Sometimes my little legs weren’t long enough to make it to the next stair and I had to do some fancy improvising.  2019-09-28 09.28.56The view from the top was worth every step!image2019-09-28 09.43.392019-09-28 09.49.302019-09-28 10.03.03We had to book it back down in order to have time to shower and check out of our hotel before Mandy’s 1:20 flight. And of course, we made it all the way down with zero trouble and then got lost getting back to our car.  Now we were in a real time crunch.  We showered like lightening and zoomed to the airport.  I dropped her off about an hour before her flight and then headed to the swap meet to get some souvenirs for the kids.  She called me about 30 minutes later to tell me that she’d missed her flight.  They had changed the time to 1pm, and that didn’t give her enough time to get to the gate.  She was rebooked for later that night.  But that was a lucky break for me!  Now I didn’t have to spend the day alone.  So back to the airport I went. We stopped for lunch at Burgers and Burritos.  The name didn’t sound promising, but we relied on the yelp reviews.  And they weren’t wrong.  It was a delicious burger.  Then we went searching for an all natural, organic fruit puree shave ice I’d read about called Monsarrat Shave Ice.  I wouldn’t say it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten, but it was fun, healthy, and unique so I’m glad we gave it a try.  2019-09-28 15.34.152019-09-28 15.34.56We made a quick stop to Ala Moana Mall, and at this point I’m pretty sure we visited every single place on the island that held significance for us.  Our destination was to Big Island Candies for some chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies for Rusty.  And they were FANTASTIC.  I want more just thinking about them!  CookiesLogoWebsiteMandy realized we were near Kewalo Basin Park, which was where her grandpa served during WWII.  So we stopped by there for some pics and then we walked along Ala Moana park getting great views of Diamond head and watching the sunset.  It was a perfect end to our trip!  Red eye flight home, and just like that, it was over.  I came home rejuvenated, relaxed, happy, and feeling more like myself than I have in a long time.  Hawaii, I love you!2019-09-28 17.08.242019-09-28 18.13.34

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